Story ArcThe Envoy of Shadow

Summary

Mission Index

  1. Stop ritual in Kings Row (Circle of Thorns)
  2. Locate Akarist
  3. Rescue Akarist
  4. Stop Circle's sacrifice
  5. Disrupt ritual & look for clues
  6. Defeat Envoy & its minions
  7. Stop lead researcher & his men
  8. Defeat the Envoy of Shadow

Notable Foes

  • Mission #4: Envoy of Shadow, Arch-Villain (Circle of Thorns)
  • Mission #6: Envoy of Shadow, Arch-Villain (Circle of Thorns)
  • Mission #8: Envoy of Shadow, Arch-Villain (Circle of Thorns)

Investigate the scene in Kings Row and recover the book

Cadao Kestrel

There have been rumours that the Warrior leader King Thunder stole a book of magic rituals from the Circle of Thorns. According to the rumour, the Circle had only just acquired the book themselves, and were looking to get it back. That rumour just might match with a recent disturbance in Kings Row. The Warriors have been planning on some big rite to get, and there's word of Cricle mystics watching those preparations closely. If this book is as powerful as rumours say it is, the Warriors are in way over their heads. I suspect this may all be part of a Circle plot of some kind. Could you investigate the ritual and try to recover the book?

Stay alert on this mission. I have the feeling that this is the start of something much larger.

You'll hvae three main things to do. First, look for the stolen book. Secondly, if the Circle are on the scene break up any ritual they may be performing. Finally, look for any clues about what the Warriors were trying to do and why the Circle wanted that book back.

Part 1: Stop ritual in Kings Row (Find the Book, Look for Clues)
Abandoned warehouse @ Kings Row (Circle of Thorns)

The air is heavy with traces of greasy smoke and the scent of burned meat.

Cadao Kestrel

From what I can make out of King Thunder's story, it soudns like the Warriors tried to summon something powerful, but it got free. The wierd thing is it sounds like whatever they summoned, it went with the Circle of Thorns. Which also matches the ceremony you describe. It seems like whatever crossed over to this world, the Circle was trying to cover its tracks. I don't know what to make of it, but I think this is only the strat of something big.


Look into Akarist's kidnapping

Cadao Kestrel

Though the city's mystics and occultists have been on high alert after you found that Warrior summoning that had gone wrong, the Circle of Thorns have still accomplished a major kidnapping. Their target was a Circle of Thorns mage called Akarist, who had defected from the Circle. Akarist has been in MAGI's protective custody, helping with major mystical cases and working on a complete history of Oranbega. Late last night, Akarist's warded safe house was broken into, his guards incapacitated, and Akarist himself abuducted. Akarist's loss is a major blow, and the timing of it seems like more than a coincidence.

I have a clue to where Akarist may be. Your goal will be to go in and find him. It's unlikely the Circle will harm him yet, but if he's not found soon they may remove him from his body and place his soul into a crystal of torment. With all the help he's provided the city, he deserves better than that.

Part 2: Locate Akarist (Find Akarist)
Oranbega @ Brickstown

You follow the paths through caves and tunnels to a part of the lost city of Oranbega.

Objective: You found some of Akarist's books.

ClueA History of Oranbega: The War of the Mu

You've seen smaples of Akarist's spidery handwriting before, and these books were definitely written by him. There are numerous volumes here, and each one chronicles a different aspect of a great war between the ancient peoples of Oranbega and another lost civilization called the Mu. The books start with the creation stories and mythic founding of Oranbega by refugees who's god led them across the sea in great ships, after they had been exiled from their homeland for practicing magic; and proceed up to the war. The last volume Akarist was working on has only reached the first few days of the onflict, where Mu Skyships rained a magical fire down upon the outlying Oranbegan cities.

From the detailed descriptions, it seems as it Akarist himself was an eyewitness.

Mission Complete: Though Akarist was not there, you did find several books he had written.

Cadao Kestrel

I'm sorry, Red Tomax, it looks like my information wasn't completely correct. Finding his books might be a good step, though. I'll talk with some of the dowsers I know, they may be able to get a better idea of where Akarist is by using those books. Talk to me shortly, there may be another chance to find Akarist soon.


Rescue Akarist

Cadao Kestrel

The Circle of Thorns is still holding Akarist, the Circle defector they kidnapped right after they tricked the Warriors into summoning something for them. However, I think I've got a solid location on where they're holding him. If my resources are correct, he's not being held in Oranbega, but in an abandoned office building here in the city. Can you rescue Akarist before the Circle can extract their revenge on him?

Once again, your main goal is to find and rescue Akarist. I just hope he's still in a human form when you reach him.

Part 3: Rescue Akarist
Abandoned office @ Kings Row

Long strips of paint peel off the walls in delicate flakes wth every step you take. The moldering carpet and paint flakes reveal a trail of other visitors to this place

Mission Complete: You have rescued Akarist from the Circle of Thorns

ClueNegotiations with the Darkness

Upon his rescue, Akarist told you:

'It's hardly surprising that they sought to retrieve me. Whether by chance of design, there is an emissary of the Ever-Burning Hells in your world, an Envoy of the Darkness. And unlike a proper summoning, this Envoy walks unbound and free. He comes with sweet promises and fell bargains. When he appeared all who once trod Oranbega's streets felt it, for we had delt with this ambassador's master before. They sought me counsel, as I had negotiated with his kind in ages long past.'

'Now that the Envoy is here, it has already begun to make offers. The specifics are unkinown to me, but the Circle thinks it now knows enough to handle a creature of this power. I do not know if that is true, or if the Circle is acting rashly to a perceived opportunity at a time when Oranbega is once more under dire threat. Either way, the results will likely be catastrophic for your people. I should tell you that the last time the Circle of Thorns accpeted such an offer, it ended with the destruction of the continent of Mu,and millions of souls flung into Hell.'

'Not that we came off much better.'

Cadao Kestrel

Akarist says that the Warriors summoned a demon, didn't bind it, and now it's free and negotiating with the Circle of Thorns? This is bad, Red Tomax. really bad. It's not over though. If the Circle felt that it needed Akarist's expertise in dealing with a demon, then they can't be that sertain about the deal yet. I'll work with Akarist and every contact I have. With your help, this can be stopped. Talk to me soon for any new developments.


Disrupt the sacrifical tribute for the Envoy of Shadow

Cadao Kestrel

I've had a chance to talk to Akarist about the Demon the Circle of Thorns have summoned. He calls it the Envoy of Shadow, and says that it's an emissary of the Demon Prince the Oranbegans dealt with before. He thinks that the thing will demand a human sacrificce as part of whatever bargain it's making, and probably a large one. Will you help stop the sacrifice to the Envoy of Shadow?

Akarist says that there's a chance the Envoy itself may be there to accept the sacrifices, so it would probably be a good diea to gather allies for this mission.

Akarist has pointed us towards where the ceremony will most likely take place, and it coincides with something else. I've just gotten word that 13 police officers haven't shown up for work today, but thta one of them got a call out on his radio that she was taken underground by Circle Sorcerers. Your main goal will be to find and rescue all of the kidnapped police and disrupt any sacrificial ceremony. Also, look for any evidence of what sort of deal the Envoy may be here to make. If the Envoy itself is there, Akarist wanred that defeating it won't be enough to destroy it, but might give you an idea of how to fight it. Use your own discretion on that.

Akarist also sent this for you. It's something he's written about Demons and the sacrifices they demand. It might provide you with an insight to the Envoy of Shadow and what it's after.

ClueOn demonic sacrifices

The message is penned in Akarist's spidery hand. On the subject of sacrifices, it says:

'Any fell being of power will usually demand a human sacrifice. The fiend will claim that it is to quench it's thirst for blood and souls, but in fact that is not the true reason. most fiends are will fed on mortal corruption, and even if they were near to starvation it is unlikely they would admit it lest it make them seem weak. They will feed, of course, as it would be foolish to forsake an easy meal, but in truth their easons for demanding sacrifices are generally twofold:'

'Firstly, they demand it as a tribute. Demons, like most creatures that crawl forth from the abyss, are both proud and vain. They wish to have their greatness tallied and displayed for all to see by the magnitude of tribute given to them. This Envoy of Shadow will no doubt demand much to fit it's title.'

'The second reason is more practical. It is a test of how far the summoner is willign to go. If a summoner is willing to sacrifice another human being to appease the demon, then the answer is probably very far indeed.'

'The disruption of such a sacrifice by outside forces will not necessarily cancel the deal, but it will at the least save the lives and souls of the poor unfortunates selected as the Demon's tribute.'

Part 4: Stop Circle's sacrifice (8 victims to find, Look for clues)
Cavern @ Founders' Falls

The anguished cries of the City's defenders mix with the ancient Chants of the Circle of Thorns.

Objective: You found something

ClueA warning from Hell

This lengthy document contains dire potents and warnings from a Prince of Demons about the impending return of an entity called 'Hequat', all made in the vaguest possible way. It makes many further vague promises as well.

Envoy of ShadowEnvoy of Shadow [Arch-Villain]
Unbound and unnamed, it has crossed the gulf of worlds on a bridge of greed and pain. The Envoy of Shadow is the ambassador of the Prince on Demons, here to offer the Circle of Thorns great power and dark alliances. Its consuming flames and cloak of darkness are manifestations of its endless evil.

Mission Complete: You have rescued the kidnapped officers and disrupted the sacrifice ceremony.

Cadao Kestrel

You saved a lot of lives today, and may have disrupted the Envoy's negotiations. According to Akarist, that won't be enough to stop things, but it should slow them down. The Envoy can be defeated, but it can't be destroyed or banished, at least not yet. I'll also ask Akarist about this 'Hequat' you found mentioned. Check with me again soon.


Disrupt the ritual and look for signs that Hequat is returning

Cadao Kestrel

Akarist was nearly overcome with fear when I told him about the message you found when you stopped that sacrifice. The Envoy's messge talked about this 'Hequat' returning, and that concept really worried Akarist. He says that it's likely the Circle of Thorns try to confirm this on their own. This might match with reports the the Circle of Thorns have taken over a small office and are preparing some kind of ceremony there. The ceremony could have a darker purpose, too, so the best bet would be to break it up, and look for any clues. If theyre are trying to confirm that Hequat is active, then that's something we need to know, too.

Akarist says that if they are trying to determine that, the ritual will be well guarded, and you'd do well to bring allies.

Your main goal is to disrupt the ceremony itself, and to find any evidence that this Hequat is active.

Akarist has another message for you. This one's about Hequat, and why the Circle would be afraid of her. It's enough to make me afraid of the consequences if she really does return.

ClueOf Hequat and Mu

The message is penned in Akarist's spidery hand. On the subject of Hequat, it says:

'Though we did not know of them until the War, the Mu were our sworn enemy for hundreds of years. Within a fortress-island forged of iron and fear they had been trained to hate us and to fight agaisnt us for generations. Their Godddess demanded it, and they obeyed her in all ways. They believed that their chosen place upon this world was to serve as the righteous implement of her will, and in their deeds and customs did tey enshrine this so that to do otherwise would be unthinkable. At her command they performed generations of what you would call eugenic breeding to strengthen the magic within their blood lines. At her command they attacked our peaceful Oranbega on a spring day, sewing ruin on our city and bringing war to us after it had become forgotten in our lands. The name of this Goddess was Hequat.'

'Hequat was in our myths as well, for it was her followers who had hounded us from our lands and drove our forbears into the sea. In our myths she was the former lover of Ermeeth, the god who taught our people the magic he had learned from fabled Tielekku. Hequat was also Ermeeth's greatest foe, and it was from her armies we had fled under one sea and across another to the land we would call Oranbega. We has thought Ermeeth and Hequat both legends until her soldiers came to burn our world away.'

'If the Envoy speaks truly and Hequat moves again I do not know if it will be to your good or ill. She hated Oranbega, and would hate that which we have become even more. However, it must be remembered that her hatred stemmed from our refusal to bow down to the gods in all things, as she though was proper for mortals. That aspect may bode ill for your people and your culture.'

Part 5: Disrupt ritual & look for clues (Look for clues)
Office @ Skyway City

As you enter this office it seems that the world has gone completely silent, save for the soft chanting of Circle ceremonies.

Objective: You found a clue

ClueRitual writings

These hastily scribbled notes record the results of the ritual. While they provide no proof if Hequat is active or not, the indications of the ritual are that she does still exist.

Mission Complete: You have stopped the ceremony and found a clue to the status of Hequat.

Cadao Kestrel

It's good that you hit that ritual, even if the results were incolclusive. hequat still exists, thoughm and that may be enough to lean the Circle towards working with the Envoy. If the Circle starts to consider accepting the deal, then we will have to move fast to stop them. Check with me soon, Red Tomax, I'll keep looking into this.


Steal the Envoy's gifts to the Circle of Thorns

Cadao Kestrel

All of your work to stop the Envoy of Shadow and the Circle from makinga deal is paying off, but there has been a repercussion. The Envoy is preparing to accelerate the deal and is goign to make a ceremonial gift of new Thorn Blades to the Circle of Thorns. I'd like you to disrupt this exchange, and take those Thorn Blades.

The Envoy itself is likely to be there, and defeatinghim will be necessary to break his ability to sense and retrieve the Thorn Blades. It might be a good diea to have allies with you for that reason, if you haven't already gathered some.

You'll have three things to do in this. First, you must get the Thorn Blades. Second, you need to defeat the Envoy of Shadow. You won't be able to stop him permanently, but the time it takes him to re-form himself will give us enough time to secure the Thorn Blades so they're invisible to him. Third, Akarist says that its very likely that the Circle will be trying to find some leverage on the Envoy. So, keep an eye out for what the Circle is up to.

Akarist has another message for you, this one about the Thorn Blades themselves and their importance in a deal with the Demon Prince.

ClueThe Gift of the Thorns

The message is penned in Akarist's spidery hand. On the subject of Thorn Blades, it says:

'When our people were pressed by the Mu, we took drastic measures. Firts we sank our city beneath the earth to shelter us from bombardment by Mu sky ships. Then, when we foudn we still were sorely pressed, we turned to other powers from darker worlds. A Prince of Demons came to us and offered us his aid. The Circle of Thorns, the ruling council of Oranbega, debated greatly, but in the end we bargained with him.'

'His firts gift to us was the Thorn Blades, Demon-swords that turned men into blood-frenzied monsters. Armed with these we turned the tide, and the slaughter was indescribale.'

'The men of Mu found new tactics however, and blunted our attact. Again we struck bargains with the Prince of Demons, and he brough forth troops to fight on our behalf from the depths of Hell. With wraiths and specters did we march upon the Mu. With Behemoths of the land and Leviathans of the sea did we fall upon their men, their city, their very land. The fiends had bargained for the slaughter of every last man, child, and woman of Mu, and on that fine point we faltered. We still felt mercy for them, pity eve, as we saw in them what might have become of us. We let some Mu escape to far shores. When the fiends discovered this, they were both outraged and gleeful, for they had hoped for just such an outcome. In the end we had to sacrifice mortal form and were only able to escape the wrath of the fiends as bodiless spirits in our sunken city.'

'A gift of Thorn Blades was the first step in our bargain then, and it will likely be the first step in a new one. We long ago gained the secrets of their making, just as we now have better methods of binding demons to our will, but the ceremonial import of the gift is still important. I have spoken before of the vanity of fiends, and love of ritual is part of it.'

Part 6: Defeat Envoy & its minions (Find the last blade!, Seek clues)
Cavern @ Talos Island

These caverns reach deep into the earth, a network of twisted tunnels that are perfect for a being of darkness to make dread bargains.

Objective: You found a clue to the Circle's plans

ClueNaming Notes

These hastily written notes record detailed observations of the Envoy of Shadows, including numerous conjectures about it's nature and its possible True name.

Objective: You found the Thorn Blades

ClueThorn Blades

The demon-forged swords contain a pulsing aura of angry menace.

Envoy of ShadowEnvoy of Shadow [Arch-Villain]
Unbound and unnamed, it has crossed the gulf of worlds on a bridge of greed and pain. The Envoy of Shadow is the ambassador of the Prince on Demons, here to offer the Circle of Thorns great power and dark alliances. Its consuming flames and cloak of darkness are manifestations of its endless evil.

Mission Complete: You have taken the Thorn Blades and found some valuable information.

Cadao Kestrel

Those Thorn Blades will be well hidden and protected until they can be safely studied. Good work. From the notes you found it looks like the Circle of Thorns are trying to discover the true name of the Envoy of Shadows. Names are very important in magic, and having the fiend's true name could be a big advantage. Talk with me about this soon, there may be a way to use this information.


Strike Circle Naming Research and get Envoy's True Name

Cadao Kestrel

After you found out that the Circle was looking for the Envoy of Shadow's true name when you captured the Thorn Blades,I spoke with Akarist. He agrees that finding the true name of the Envoy of Shadow could be the key to destroying the beat before it can complete a deal with the Circle of Thorns. If the Circle can find the Envoy's true name first, however, they will use it to secure a better deal for themselves, and from the outcome of the last time the Circle made dels with demons, I'm not sure I want to see what would happen if they got a good bargain. Akarist has narrowed down where the Circle would likely be working on discovering the Envoy's Truename. The hard part will be goin in and getting it. Are you ready for that?

The Name research will be well guarded. Allies would be very useful to you.

There are two objectives for you to accomplish here. First, you must find what the Circle alrady knows about the Envoy of Shadow's True Name. Once we have that, Akarist and the MAGI researchers are confident that can work out the rest. Second, we don't want the Circle to discover the Envoy's True Name, so you need to disrupt any ceremonies or rituals they're performing and defeat the Circle members or minions performing it.

Akarist has also sent another message for you. This one is about True Names. It should give you an idea of how important getting the Envoy's True Name could be.

ClueOn the Power of True Names

The message is penned in Akarist's spidery hand. One the subject of True names, it says:

'All things have names, and knowledge of the name can grant great power over a thing. Thusly do things of great power protect their True Names. When a demon is brought forth across the bridge of worlds it is often bound in service with threat of the revelation of it's True Name, for should the name be in the minds of those who would do it harm it could be slain eternally should it fall to their attack. Thusly the continuous research into the True Names of fiends is always to be advised.'

'The Envoy of Shadow was brought to the world without it's True name being known. It is unbound and thus immortal on this world. Even if physically destroyed it will live again, for nothing can truly harm it. However, the Circle of Thorns will have ordered research into the Envoy's True Name. If they acquire it, they can compel the beast, which willnot be a good outcome for you. However, the tome you recovered from it's original summoning may provide a geat boon in finding it's True Name. Copmbined with the information already gleaned as the Circle's order, it could provide the Envoy's True Name. Assuming you cna first recover that information from the Circle of Thorns.'

Part 7: Stop lead researcher & his men (Find clue to True Name)
Oranbega @ Perez Park

You descend once again into the far depths of Oranbega.

Objective: You found the Circle's notes on the Envoy of Shadow's True Name.

ClueNaming Ritual

The notes and research contained in these tomes center around Circle attempts to ascertain the True name of the Envoy of Shadows.

Mission Complete: You have disrupted the Circle's research and found their information on the True Name of the Envoy of Shadows.

Cadao Kestrel

I'll get this information to MAGI immediately. Once we can figure out the True Name of the Envoy, we can bring this to an end. I should have another mission for you soon.


Send the Envoy of Shadow back to Hell

Cadao Kestrel

The research is complete. We have the Envoy of Shadow's True Name. If you're ready, it's tiem to end the Circle's negotiations. It won't be easy, you'll be facing the Envoy of Shadow again as well as the representatives from the Circle of Thorns. If you're ready, I have all that you'll need to send the Envoy of Shadow back to Hell. I'll call for an emergency force field to give you time to get there. I'm counting on you to end this, once and for all.

You'll need to defeat the Envoy of Shadow and all of the Circle who are consorting with him to bring this to an end. I know you can do it. You've beaten him before. You can do it again.

I have these to give you from Akarist and the MAGI mystics. The True Name of the Envoy of Shadow, and the knowledge of how to use it. Good luck.

ClueOn the Naming of Fiends

The message is penned in Akarist's spidery hand. On the subject of using a True Name, it says:

'Against a mortal the use of a True Name would require much ceremony and ritual. Against the Envoy, however, the process is somewhat streamlined. It has travelled across the gulfs between worlds, born without birthing and living without life. it is an un-thin here. As such, it has few defenses against the invocation of it's True Name, save for secrecy. Your efforts and mine have defeated that. Now the task is only to slay the beat with it's name known to you. With it's form destroyed and it's name known it must either face absolute destruction, or be flung into the depths of Hell, never to return to this world again.'

Part 8: Defeat the Envoy of Shadow
Instanced Outdoor @ Black Sands Nature Preserve

This will be decided here on the shores of the city you hold dear. The Envoy of Shadow waits somewhere ahead.

Envoy of ShadowEnvoy of Shadow [Arch-Villain]
Unbound and unnamed, it has crossed the gulf of worlds on a bridge of greed and pain. The Envoy of Shadow is the ambassador of the Prince on Demons, here to offer the Circle of Thorns great power and dark alliances. Its consuming flames and cloak of darkness are manifestations of its endless evil.

Mission Complete: The Envoy of Shadow has been defeated, either destroyed utterly or banished back to the depths of Hell.

Cadao Kestrel

You did it, Red Tomax. The Envoy of Shadow is no more. Any bargains it was making with the Circle are broken, and the city is safe from an invasion of demons. You beat soemthing that was unbeatable and defeated something undefeatable, and you never desparied at the odds. You are a true hero.


Souvenir: The Envoy's True Name

This magically warded piece of parchment contains the true name of a demon. a name you used to defeat the fiend known as

The Envoy of Shadow

It all started when rumors of strange rituals sent you to Talos Island to investigate the involvement of the Warriors and the Circle of Thorns. When you arrived you found the Circle of Thorns on the scene and all but one of the Warriors dead. He told a disjointed tale. but you were able to get the idea that the Warriors had summoned something extremely powerful. and that it had been met by members of the Circle of Thorns.

The Circle seemed to be moving quickly. They attacked a safe house holding Akarist. a Mage who had left the Circle of Thorns and was helping the city. You set out to find him. but your first lead only turned up some of the books he was working on detailing the history of the Circle of Thorns and their war with the people of Mu.

Your next lead was on the mark. and you were able to rescue Akarist himself. He told you that the reason he was kidnapped was so that the Circle could discuss tactics for negotiating with a Demon. since he had been one of their best at that.

Working with Akarist's expertise and MAGI's knowledge you next disrupted a mass sacrifice of 13 police officers to satiate the Demon's demands.

The Envoy of Shadows had told the Circle that a being called Hequat was becoming active again in the world. Akarist informed you of the ancient goddess who had once raised a nation and ordered them to destroy Oranbega in ancient times. and that her return would prompt the Circle of Thorns to rash actions. You struck a circle ceremony to see what they'd found. While you didn't learn that Hequat was active. you did discover that the Circle had found Hequat did still exist.

Negotiations between the Circle and the Envoy of Shadow were proceeding quickly. To disrupt things and buy more time you struck and took a gift of new Thorn Blades that the Envoy had brought for the Circle. Though you were able to defeat the Envoy of Shadow. without his True Name you knew that the beast could never truly be beaten. You also found that the Circle knew this. and were researching the Demon's True Name themselves.

Acting on this. you infiltrated the depths of Oranbega and stole the Circle's information on the Envoy's possible True Name.

With the information you'd gathered Akarist and MAGI were able to find the Envoy of Shadow's True Name. Armed with it. you fought the Envoy again and struck it down forever. The Negotiations were broken off. and the Prince of Demons who had sent the Envoy of Shadow was denied entry into the world.


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